Sunday, July 3, 2011

Using Grasshoppers and Crickets for Bait

During Mid summer, grasshoppers and crickets become abundant around freshwater ponds, creeks and rivers. For anglers, these insects can trigger outstanding fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, perch, catfish, trout, and other species.

Grasshoppers and other insects often attract fish in areas where tall grass lines the banks of farm ponds, small creeks and river banks. To find these fishing spots, an angler needs only to walk through grass, watching for grasshopper or cricket movement.

When grasshoppers and crickets jump, they often land in the water and begin struggling. Usually the hapless insect will disappear in a swirl almost immediately as a hungry fish rises to devour its meal. Witnessing a fish feeding on grasshoppers is a sign that more fish are likely nearby, waiting for the next casualty to happen.

Live bait specialists often seek out and capitalize on the productive fishing when grasshoppers or crickets become a major part of fish diets. In many of these situations, there is an endless supply of fresh bait available in nearby patches of grass or other plants.

To catch grasshoppers, a few simple tools and a little assistance is all that is required. Adult anglers wait patently in the shade while energetic children or grandchildren catch these fast moving insects and carefully place them in the jar.

Once a supply of grasshoppers is gathered, anglers (including the kids) can catch a few fish. Small live bait hooks seem to work best, rigged about 18-24 inches below a slender bobber. The bobber is only required to help aid in casting as the insects naturally float. Baits should be hooked thru the mid-section, being careful not to break off the hind legs.

When fishing live grasshoppers, it is important watch the baits. When the insect struggles on the surface, it will attract fish from quite some distance. A swirl nearby may signal an impending strike. Some fish may take the grasshopper delicately, while species such as largemouth bass may explode on it. 

When grasshoppers become plentiful, fly fishermen have the advantage as fly-fishing tackle allows anglers to present artificial lures which appear almost identical to the real thing. Fly anglers use a variety of patterns to represent grasshoppers, with most patterns being fairly simple. 

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